• David Bentley

Rebecka Reinhard - Stamford Hill (track and video from recent EP 'Whale')


Rebecka Reinhard released a new six-track EP, ‘Whale’ at the end of August, and this is the official video for one of the singles from it, ‘Stamford Hill’.


The EP was recorded between London and the Swedish countryside, Reinhard having located herself in London from Paris in 2014 although her Facebook page insists she’s in Stockholm. I can’t quite reconcile Stamford Hill to the song. I drove through it once; it’s in Northeast London and is home to London’s Hasidic Jew community, the largest in Europe. Numerous parts of London have been referenced in songs over the decades. Remember that Finchley Central is two and sixpence from Golders Green on the Northern Line in The Vaudeville Band’s song. Perhaps it’s where she lived; she sings about taking a bus through it in the opening line.


Whatever, London is where she started working with producer Anders Källmark, who is also responsible for Twenty Committee’s latest work, recently appearing in NMR. They also have a top-notch vocalist and the quality of Källmark’s production is evident with both of them. Reinhard’s vocal here is crystal clear and the ‘western’ movie style guitar opening sets the scene perfectly.


The song could be one of Jenny Lewis’, her trademark vocal delivery is all over it and this is the sort of video she would make, too.


Rebecka Reinhard says that for ‘Stamford Hill’ they wanted to capture the feeling of being stuck, struggling to move forward but getting nowhere. Well, quicksand is best for that I reckon Rebecka, but admittedly dangerous and the slightly odd choice of a bathroom makes more sense on the ‘elf & safety’ front.


She’s trying to stay positive amidst all the mayhem and indulge in a “new romantic episode” which is difficult while fully clothed in the bath with the shower playing on her. To help, she’s put on her makeup and lit some candles. But I’m not sure about the Kermit the Frog green outfit and the Granny Smiths. Apparently these 1990s monochromatic colour schemes are supposed to emphasise the note of desperation in the song. I was waiting for the whale to make an appearance. But not a green one.


A rejection/unrequited love song essentially (“Should I tell my lovers my heart’s a dead end”), she has a quirky way with words which while not quite in the Lewis class is still engaging. My favourite line is “You want to talk about your work/ I change the subject with my hand inside your shirt”.


It sounds nonsensical but it’s the sort of descriptive text stuff Björn Ulvaeus was writing in the dying days of ABBA (check out ‘The day before you came’ for example), and that’s not a bad analogy, is it?

The final observation I’d make – and I hope everyone takes this in the right way – is that the more you watch the video the more it becomes ever so slightly erotic. While I doubt that was the intention it sort of adds a little bit of spice to it.


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